Hi! I’m Dominique Farauanu, I’m 18 and have been with Young Devon for over a year, as a Peer Researcher in the Peer Action Collective; a project surrounding Youth Violence.

My experience with Young Devon has been amazing, and I’m so glad I got involved in their Peer Action Collective Plymouth-based project, as I’ve always had a passion for ensuring young people are heard and understood. I have found the entire project to be extremely important, especially for young people who have been involved in/have witnessed Youth Violence, as it is significant that prevention strategies are put in place, as well as support.

My research has brought out some interesting themes and has taught me a lot about how young people view violence, and how it can affect them (especially if they don’t receive enough information around the causes and impacts). My Peer Action Collective team focused locally on this, as well as why it’s so important to try not to get involved in violent actions.

It has been insightful to see the reasonings behind why some young people might get involved in Youth Violence, and especially how it would impact them, both mentally and physically. This was upsetting to hear, but extremely helpful for our research. I have learned that young people view violence in many ways and that they understand what violence is, but not necessarily what might cause someone to carry out violent actions, which is something I would love to study further within my Law degree.

To support the change towards prevention and increased education around Youth Violence, I have pledged to increase conversations with young people to ensure they are comfortable around the subject and pointing them towards the right support avenues, so they know they aren’t alone, no matter what they are going through in regards to violence.

The Peer Action Collective team in Plymouth have recently been focusing on social action, which involves changing attitudes and introducing resources surrounding Youth Violence. As a continuance of my research, I would like to see more people introducing awareness of Youth Violence in their day-to-day lives, or throughout PSHE lessons in schools.

As a result, I have developed a Professional Pledge for businesses and those in authority to sign, pledging to introduce social action into their work, which can be found here.

My experience this year has been so exciting and has taught me a lot about Youth Violence, and I hope to go further with this project in ways other than research.

Want to find out more about the Peer Action Collective? Visit our PAC webpage, to read all about our project! We are currently looking for 10-20 year olds to become Changemakers, and local businesses and authority figures to sign our Professional Pledge.